As a finance controller, you are responsible for supervising investment activities and strategies, preparing financial reports, and providing accounting for an organisation.
Here’s how you can prepare to step into the role of a financial controller.
- Achieve a strong academic foundation for future career prospects and opportunities for advancement by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, and then an MBA or Master’s degree in accounting. It is a priority to get these degrees in the early stages of your career so that their pursuit does not hinder your career advancement when your career performance can otherwise merit it.
- Spend 3 or 4 years in the early stages of your career as an entry-level accountant or auditor with an objective to become an assistant finance controller later. Starting out small in a large corporation strengthens your credentials and gives you important practical experience as well as a broad network of contacts.
- Within 5 years of finishing your academic work, get a position as an assistant finance controller or finance director in a mid- to large-sized company. Begin to strategise on whether you want to achieve the top job where you are or at another company.
- Build strong relationships with external CPA who audits or reviews your company. Ask him in a discreet manner to keep you in the loop regarding finance controller openings or other career advancement opportunities at other companies that he knows of.
- Let your supervisors be aware of your goal in becoming a finance controller within your company. Arrange a specific timetable and request for their support in your career goals by giving you opportunities for internal advancement.
- Look out for appropriate job listings in the financial journals, newspapers, or the STJobs portal. Circulate or send in your resume and application discreetly when you see a good fit.
- Take note of ‘head hunter’ or recruitment firms that often list high-level finance positions. Meet with their specialists in the finance and accounting industry in order to share your resume, make a good impression, and inform them of your career objectives.